Business Commentary Link Building

Buying & Selling Links

Should you really buy links? This is a raging debate among professional bloggers and SEO practitioners since the act of “giving a link” used to simply be a passge of information. However, Google’s Pagerank and system itself is highly dependent on links to and from several sites across the web. The way their system works has led to the assumption that linking as a form of business is bad or at least unethical, something countered by other prominent people on the web.

Google engineer Matt Cutts discussed this issue last year on his weblog, suggesting that Google is not particularly happy with the practice of buying and selling links. Threadwatch’s Nick Wilson (now with Performancing) found it rather arrogant that google would tell publishers how to do business and operate their sites.

My take? Buying and selling text links works in a moderated situation. You should never sell links on your site to “bad neighborhoods,” or resources that are dubious or do not provide value to your reader base. Buying links on other sites is a personal call, but one I’d rather avoid if possible. In fact, I haven’t done this for my sites at all.

Business Commentary Links

Business blogging

These days, every business sector is busy jumping on the blogging bandwagon armed with overflowing enthusiasm. Unfortunately, some are clueless about the medium, and their excitement causes them to break some common rules on weblog ethics. Before you enter the business blogging atmosphere, remember these 10 things.

Business blogging can be very effective if done the right way.

Commentary Links Optimization Traffic Building

Conversational traffic

Blogging can be a very daunting task especially when your efforts does not translate to visits, inbound links, and comments. Fortunately, one very effective way to build traffic is through interaction. And by interaction, it usually means through comments. And if you can’t get people to comment, might as well comment and interact with blogs of the same topic. Amy Gahran discusses this further in her article, “Strategic Commenting: No blog is an island.”

Personally, this is a tried–and–tested method to increase the visibility of your weblog, one that I employed successfully on my personal weblog. Read on.

Commentary Writing

Blogging: A Personal Touch

These days, everyone is blogging we hardly realize we have crossed all possible definitions of the term. Back in the days, we would even argue if a site is indeed a blog, or not. The past year or two has definitely changed the way we see blogs, as they have been used now for almost every conceivable purpose: music, photos, even porn.

We need to be reminded that blogging used to be synonymous with personal journals. This is exactly how they are used in livejournal, multiply, myspace, and friendster blogs.

I found two recent articles relevant to this discussion: “Why Emotion Matters” and “Being Three-Dimensional.”

The first one puts emphasis on the difference the storytelling makes. It’s not always how successful or how lucky you are, but sometimes it’s just about the journey you are taking. Tell a better story.

The second article on being three–dimensional is a discussion of how blogs are written. Many of us blogging for profit have forgotten the personal side of the practice, churning out lifeless and impersonal articles every single day. We paraphrase and comment on what others have written, or are selling, or whatever they have on their blogs, but we fail in relating it to our daily lives. Blogging should not take away the fun, and expectedly it also means including a little bit of you, the writer, in the stories that you tell. After all, it’s supposed to be your story.


Problogging is not for everyone

Yes, you got that right, problogging is not for everyone. Despite the enticing benefits made even more inviting by numerous success stories around the web, this newly established career will never be a viable primary source of livelihood for the greater majority of those who try it.

Blogging made it into the mainstream because it enables everyone to communicate almost instantaneously. The promise of getting your message across to your target audience at the soonest possible time empowers every person who can write well enough to be understood. Unfortunately, not everyone has something worthwhile to say.

So how could you take advantage of blogging, professionally? Use it to drive interest towards your competencies. Use your blog to showcase your level of expertise in your field, and rise above the competition. Most web designers keep weblogs to write about recent projects and techniques they’ve developed, and doing so allows them to be noticed by their peers and more importantly, their clients.

Strive to stick to your weblog’s primary goals.
Do not not be drawn by the promise of profits from blogging itself, but rather use it to increase your stock and excel in your field of interest.


WordPress for professional blogging

These days, many of us are dreaming of taking professional blogging seriously, enough for it to become a major source of income. And fortunately for some of us, blogging as a business has been rewarding, especially financially.

This phenomenon has inspired many others to consider blogging as an additional revenue source, to supplement what they may be earning from their day jobs. Once you’ve got your blogging ideas ready, all you need is decent hosting and a good blogging platform.

There are many options available, though if you observe individuals running their own little blog networks, more often than not, you would see WordPress as the platform of choice.

Why WordPress? Personally, this choice has been a no–brainer. The application comes with all the basic features you’ll need to get a blog running. Additionally, it offers endless customization options as you learn the system, and the possibilities are endless. Because it is based on PHP and MySQL, you can easily learn the system, with the whole open source community behind you, providing lessons and tools for rapid learning and development.

WordPress also has a very large community of selfless individuals who continuously contribute and improve the application with various plugins, themes, and even hacks to make it do just about everything. The app has taken various incarnations and served varied purposes, it’s that good that it has been modded to simulate a photo gallery solution, a content aggregator, and quite sadly, it has also been a splogging solution for evil–minded souls.

A big seller for professional blogging is the fact that WordPress is pre–optimized for search engines. Using the clean permalinks option, it produces friendly URLs that are preferred by search engines. It also supports the various XML syndication formats which has almost been a requirement for almost all new web applications.

Lastly, WordPress is free. Free as in beer, or in whatever way you want to see it. You don’t have to pay anything for it, and you can pretty much mangle it to suit your needs.

Don’t you agree it’s the best for professional blogging?

Commentary Links

The death of original content

The search engine wars and the rise of contextual advertising has produced what many online watchers hav long feared: the death of uniquely original information.

As reported by a WSJ columnist, a brief experiment taking a freelance writing gig results in what is actually a rewriting business. This is the truth that most content providers commit these days, and I am personally guilty of the same thing, to a certain extent. However, what is bothersome is the existence of sites that serve no purpose but take others’s content, twisting and mangling them until they look like it was written by someone else, providing nothing of worthy to those who seek the information.

This phenomenon is the offshoot of the strong drive to dominate search engine results, which in turn produces significant revenues that has been an alternative form of livelihood for many individuals. Obviously, most of these revenues are from online advertising, which is directly a by–product of a site’s traffic size. The more visitors you have, the more money you earn.

Unfortunately, search engines have not been able to considerably weed out the worthless copycats. Segregating useful information from the useless rewritten ones is a job best suited for humans, a technology too hard to translate to machine code — unless other methods are developed to track such instances.

Are we going to finally see the death of original content? I don’t think so. Unfortunately, the continuous growth of valuable information is synonymous to pirated material. This will be the reality, at least for the next few years. How soon search engines respond and win against the content pirates is surely something we will all be keenly waiting for.